Tag Archives: Peace

STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT NOW ! A powerful play for Peace and Non-Violent Solutions

STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT NOW ! is now available for on line viewing at The Stop it, Stop it, Stop it Now! Video has been posted on the WCCA website at

http://www.wccatv.com/video/specials/STOPITPLAY Enjoy !

Stop it, Stop it, Stop it Now! is a one act play describing real and imagined events that occur while standing Peace Vigil at Lincoln Square in Worcester. The vigil takes place near the World War I memorial and a dead man, Homer Wheaton, killed in action in France during WWI comes alive and queries the peace vigil. Other dead from the War on Terror come to life to express their pain and horror of war. An evil presence advocates for war followed by a man of peace’s call for a solution to war. A poem and the listing of 34 of the wars the US has been in since WWII is read. All the dead plead “Stop it, Stop it, Stop it Now.”

PEACE FIRST

The following is my personal comment it is not necessarily the point of view of WCCA, it’s staff, volunteers, Board of Directors, and associates. It is my comment as a person who has dedicated my life long career to stand tall for freedom of speech and public access.

My heart goes out to the families that experienced loss and bloodshed in Charlottville and also in Barcelona and Cambrils and elsewhere. There is no excuse and such horrific unjust acts of hate and violence and it must NOT be allowed to continue.

We are certainly experiencing the testing of our FREE SPEECH.

We keep a poster in our home where everyone in our family can see it every day. It reads:

“A thought reaps an action, an action reaps a habit, a habit reaps a character, a character reaps a destiny”

Some can say this saying amounts to the definition of psychology, I say it can be a guide to provide a path for our free will.

This saying should make it abundantly clear why there is no room in this nation or in our communities for “any” group, international or domestic terrorist, political,(including bigoted hate groups) that replaces free speech, peaceful protest, and peaceful discourse with violence. When you see such violence what THOUGHT comes to mind ? What ACTION do you follow that thought with? Anger, push back, anxiety ???

We can not pretend our natural flight or fight responses do not exist, but we can control them.

We know in our hearts violence is never the solution, and we must also learn to overcome hate for the sake of hate, because hate begets hate and it’s outcome is unrest and it can only be counter to peace and our Constitutional right to pursuit happiness.

Too many in this nation, of all races, creeds, places, and philosophical persuasions, feel disenfranchised.

If there is any role for our government to play, outside of securing our individual freedoms, it is to ensure no one is disenfranchised and all are included equally under the laws of our constitution.

Unless everyone has an equal opportunity to participate share their point of view or express their beliefs, if they desire too, free speech will continued to be challenged. Media Biased and in some cases, inaccessibility, can not be denied, and it is important to understand that throughout the ages, as long as media existed, an amount of media biased existed on behalf of those who controlled it. This is where media literacy comes into play. Unless there is an ability to read, to express, and to have access to and the know how to use the tools to express and disseminate points of view, made available for ALL and for ALL to be included and to participate in, there would be a vacuum rendering free speech useless. This is not to say speech used to instigate violence, fuel hatred is acceptable, it is not. Again, such speech runs counter to FREE speech for ALL

Free speech can provide a healthy point – counter point needed to debate matters openly, academically, holistically, and constructively. The expression of Free Speech should be without fear of retribution and physical harm in anyway.

One of the reasons why PUBLIC ACCESS TELEVISION / COMMUNITY Media (like WCCA TV) exist is to level the playing field, assure media literacy (digital inclusion), and to enable a true participatory media that fosters, nurtures, and encourages our free speech process.

In these United States our freedoms are being tested everyday. It is NOT the purpose of government alone to “FIX” or address all our social challenges, it is up to each and every one of us to do our part. It is, however, the role of government to protect and to ensure our constitutional right to free speech is maintained and protected, including right to access the tools and technologies needed to do so.

We must calmly think, move our thoughts away from ideas that pit us against each other, to consider all the struggles of human times, all the horrible wars, and travesties and injustice that never was resolved through hate and violence or actions that fueled the fires of resentment and negative thoughts and disenfranchisement. Over centuries, these horrible actions, paths and situations have became a habit and the character of this habit is raising it’s ugly head every day in senseless violence, fatalities, and hurt to fellow human beings.

We must find another way. We can make the Promised Land our destiny. I propose each of us make it our own personal quests to put PEACE first.

PEACE FIRST ! Not always easy, but why not try?

Do you want a world of Peace ? The way may be before each of us. Please think about it:
“A thought reaps an action, an action reaps a habit, a habit reaps a character, a character reaps a destiny”

Thank you and I wish us all peace.

Mauro DePasquale

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City of Worcester Community Dialogues on Race: Media and Online Social Networks

I attended this program on Monday Night (6/22). The goals of the organizers of this particular forum were to create 1. A list of ways racism is perpetuated or dismantled through media, 2. A list of ways media outlets can improve their reporting based on race, and 3. A list of ways readers of online media and participants of online social media networks can dismantle racism.
The organizers had about 140 people break out in groups to ponder and brainstorm on the above 3 goals.

None of the documents I received that were handed out establish a definition for media nor did any of the facilitators that I heard, during the welcome portion or through the group facilitator express, at least in brief, an initial definition given for “MEDIA”(M) or “ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS” (OSN) or the various levels Media and OSN’s can be perceived. My group however seemed to have a good handle on that.

I observed, from both the group conversations and the end of session report, which summarize each of the 15 groups findings, the following: The 3 goals really were perceived as one of the same, there were a lot of overlapping answers and suggestions; People understand the mainstream media is often biased, it feeds on spectacle including the spectacle of gossip, violence, and hatred that is often spewed on OSN comments and news clips; Commercial and mainstream Media is driven by audience numbers and profit and therefor the lowest common denominator wins ( If it bleeds,it leads); Media often represents the agenda of the handful of corporations that own it nationally or globally; Reporting is generally weak, lacks true unbiased investigation for the most part (commentary is not news, it’s opinion), and while leaning toward spectacle ( ad clicks and for ad sales)it also seems to serve as a propaganda machine for government or corporate interest; Media often focuses on national news feeds and most of the information is repeated in loops covering remote happenings. It was acknowledged in my group that the constant repeated play of a story tends to magnify violence and racism through strategic use of imagery and language (again to draw an audience), which in turn is infectious and generates more of the same and misunderstanding or worse, hatred and resentment; Media often leaves out the good news or fails to probe into the non-violent solutions or sides of the story; Readers of OSN’s need to learn to better discern, counter, and understand that there are pros’ and cons’ to anonymity ( for instance some fear political or corporate retribution, or being marginalized and others, on the con side, use it as a cloak to spread hate), and that while some choose to be be silent, not everyone is an enemy. The on line readers have to stop feeding the negativity by adding instead positive perspectives to counter others who push the negative and hate; There is a lack of real media literacy and this means an understanding and skill set of how to write, create digital media, and critically analyze what is written, in order to discern the message and it’s agenda or posturing; (sadly) uninformed or media illiterate are more prone to surrender their freedom of speech to “higher” authorities, rather than empower themselves with tools that are currently available such as community public access outlets,( Like WCCA TV or WCUW, or to write their own blogs on-line , or create their own broadside or news letters, for instance).

One piece that I thought was curiously missing, at least through my group or in the final session’s end report, was no one spoke about how racism and hate thrive on fear and isolation. Although this was subtly touched upon by pointing out that most coverage focuses upon national news rather than local issues. Avoiding the local perspectives and news creates a type of isolation from what is happening in our own back yard. The lack local connections removes the connection and discourages the immediacy of underlying issue (race or hate crime). Another point I found missing was the acknowledgment that there is also BIG money in keeping people in fear and through managing and or addressing hatred and violence. Keeping voices silent and isolated helps sustain a culture of death, racism and violence. The money making is not rendered only on the media and OSNs level, it’s raked in through the court systems, jails, Local, State and Federal government, even levels of social workers and healthcare, and other spin off enterprises. I sincerely hope that point is not going to be lost at the end of these sessions for the sake of sincerity of this entire dialogue process. I look forward to the end reports and hope to see tangible solutions that can be applied to end racism and all forms of hate and violence.

It is clearly apparent to me, through my observations, that programs such as public access WCCA TV and others like it need to be encouraged, better supported, and expanded as means to build bridges of peace, end racism, empower the voices of the people, and to build community. More importantly facilities such as WCCA need to be utilized much more. AT WCCA TV the people of our community ARE THE MEDIA. That translates to power to the people !

WCCA TV, non-profit public access media, is an institution for Media Democracy, Media Literacy and Creative Innovation since 1986

Mauro